Why Therapy is Essential for Treating Addiction

Most people assume the remedy for recovery involves detox and abstinence from the drugs/alcohol. The truth is, this is only the beginning. Recovery is a life long process, one that requires discipline and most importantly intensive treatment and therapy. Addiction is usually a symptom of an underlying issue such as trauma, abuse, grief, and many other mental health disorders. Addiction has been named “disease of the brain”. This complicated idea suggests that the issue stems from the brain. Complex and often confusing, this disease attacks the thinking and behaviors of an individual. Therapy is one of the most useful tools utilized to promote long term sobriety.

There are many different types of therapy integrated into the recovery process. Almost all addiction programs recognize this and have found that there is not a one size fits all method to this approach. Behavioral therapy is perhaps the most effective in treating the root of addiction and preventing cravings and relapse. However, there are many different forms of therapy. The goal is to identify and address fundamental issues the addict may be facing. For centuries, therapy has been used for treating addiction of all sorts.

Matrix Model was developed in the 1980’s during the cocaine epidemic. Originally designed to treat stimulant abuse, this therapy method proved to be overwhelmingly effective. The Matrix Model was intended to be a 16 week program that includes individual therapy sessions, group therapy, relapse prevention, family therapy/education, CBT, DBT, and encouraging 12 Step meetings. Contingency management is another major component of this method as well, rewarding sobriety and avoiding punishment for relapse.

Family Therapy is essential for recovery because not everyone is affected by addiction. The addict does not suffer alone, all members of family and friends are affected by the disease. It is important for the family to be educated on the disease of addiction. It’s not uncommon for individual therapy to include family sessions. The goal is to unify and reunite family members who have been affected. Most addicts will remain in therapy if other members of the family do as well. Healing within the family unit has shown lower relapse rates and higher levels of motivation from the addict through positive reinforcement and support.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a short-term psychotherapy that promotes problem solving skills. CBT primarily focuses on solutions rather than revisiting old problems. This method of therapy encourages development of new coping strategies, changing detrimental cognitive thinking, and problem solving skills. CBT has also been used in treating co-occurring disorders as well.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) works to address co-occurring disorders simultaneously. Enhancing behavioral skills, through mindfulness and emotional regulation, is the primary focus of DBT. This type of treatment encourages stress management, decreases impulsivity, and aims to strengthen self esteem through discipline and structure.

Trauma Therapy is also a vital form of therapy used for addiction treatment. Recent studies have shown that half of adults have experienced some form of trauma in their childhood. Unresolved trauma is a leading cause of substance abuse. Addicts turn to drugs/alcohol to self medicate the pain of PTSD. Trauma therapy requires the patient to identify the trauma by creating a safe environment for the individual to share painful experiences. Once the patient has identified trauma the therapist will incorporate tools useful in helping to process, change old belief systems, and promote healing.

Every addict requires a recovery plan that best suites their individualized therapeutic needs. It is important therapy promotes a safe and positive collaboration between the addict and therapist. Avoiding condemnation and confrontation, the therapist must empathize with the patient in order to establish a secure and trustworthy relationship. Education in therapy is also quintessential for recovery, it is important the addict understand that addiction is a disease and not a matter of willpower. Through setting expectations the individual will set goals to accomplish throughout the duration in therapy which will ultimately encourage taking further steps towards positive behaviors. Therapy must also employ cognitive behavioral change through identifying triggers and impulsivity which retrains the brain’s functionality. Family therapy will help to establish boundaries and healthy communication between the family and the addict in hopes of setting a guide for a strong sober support. Evidence has proven that recovery is a lifelong process that requires maintenance and consistent spiritual and individual growth. Therapy is an effective tool used in cultivating the foundation for long-term recovery.

Treatment Options for Substance Abuse

According to the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health 21.5 million Americans (ages 12 and older) had suffered with substance abuse disorders. As professionals spread awareness through educational resources, more treatment options have become available. Medical research has led to the acknowledgement that addiction is in fact a disease. A disorder that is not simply based on lack of will power nor an issue of morality, addiction requires precise and multiple options for treatment and ultimately recovery.

12 Steps/Alcoholics Anonymous
The 12 Steps were created by the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous. In earlier years, the goal of these founders was to help find a solution that worked for other addicts seeking recovery. AA has maintained the sanctity of this program by refusing to charge for the 12 Steps or membership. The 12 Steps provide a guide that ultimately leads the addict to identify past harms/traumas, fully admit their wrongdoings, make amends, identify unhealthy behaviors, create humility through connecting with spirituality/higher power, and cultivating hope through helping other alcoholics achieve sobriety. The fellowship and anonymity of AA and the 12 Steps have proven to be successful over the years for any addict pursuing sobriety.

Long Term Inpatient Vs. Intensive Outpatient Treatment
During long term inpatient rehabilitation, the patient is usually housed in a substance free facility for a substantial amount of time. This type of treatment provides around the clock therapeutic and medical care while temporarily keeping the patient away from potential triggers. Inpatient rehab has proven to be most beneficial for those dealing with chronic substance abuse disorder and co-occurring disorders.

Intensive outpatient treatment provides many of the same benefits as inpatient rehabilitation. Group therapy, behavioral therapy, as well as individualized therapy are often included in the program. Patients are not isolated and protected from triggers, however this treatment method has proven to be effective for those that must continue work to provide and care for their children or other family members. It is important to remember, any addict can stay sober by maintaining consistency in recommended treatment and establishing a strong support system.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Vs. Dialectical Behavior Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a short-term psychotherapy that promotes problem solving skills. CBT primarily focuses on solutions rather than revisiting old problems. This method of therapy encourages development of new coping strategies, changing detrimental cognitive thinking, and problem solving skills. CBT has also been used in treating co-occurring disorders as well.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) works to address co-occurring disorders simultaneously. Enhancing behavioral skills, through mindfulness and emotional regulation, is the primary focus of DBT. This type of treatment encourages stress management, decreases impulsivity, and aims to strengthen self esteem through discipline and structure.

Mindfulness Meditation
The disease of addiction stems from a malady of the brain, a chemical imbalance like one commonly seen with other mental disorders. Mindfulness meditation helps individuals identify what is causing their intense cravings. Mindfulness meditation encourages inner calm and detachment from discomfort. Focusing on eliminating impulsivity by connecting the addict to their innermost self, this treatment method has proven to be successful in preventing future relapse and maintaining spiritual wholeness.

It is important to remember that before attempting any type of treatment, it is crucial for an addict to receive the proper medical treatment while detoxing. Prolonged use of any mood or mind altering substance substantially affects the individual mentally and physically. It is important for the addict and his/her support to remember there is no cure for addiction, but rather multiple options available to best suite the individual’s needs for treatment in hopes of achieving long term sobriety. The overall goal is to achieve long term sobriety, relapse prevention, and manage any mental/physical ailment with further treatment.

Ballantyne NC Real Estate Market

Ballantyne, a suburb of North Carolina that’s located in the area known as South Charlotte, is a simply beautiful place to live. It’s a newer community, equipped with many amenities to meet its residents’ professional and recreational needs.

ballantyne real estateThe area is easily accessible, located just off of highway 485 on exit 61 (Johnston Rd.). It occupies land that used to be the Morrison hunting reserve. Ballantyne has 2,000 acres of space to call its own, and because of all the businesses, stores and other conveniences it boasts, it is considered by many to be a town within itself.

Within the borders of Ballantyne is a 535-acre corporate park that includes all kinds of office buildings, a resort hotel, a golf course, and more. Inside that area are a variety of other establishments as well, including plenty of shopping, dining, and entertainment options. One of the most recently developed shopping centers is called Ballantyne Village. It has a host of popular shops and delicious restaurants, in addition to a brand-new theater.

Ballantyne is full of opportunity for its residents. The schools are excellent, and business opportunities are plentiful. Thanks to its more recent development, this steadily growing area is all tastefully landscaped – from the public areas to the private homes. If you’re considering home buying in Ballantyne, you can expect to find many beautiful options to meet your needs. If you’re more in the market for home selling, this is a great area for you as well, as its attracting new people every day.

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Ballantyne is a modern, well-developed area of North Carolina that’s bursting with beautiful homes and growing businesses. Due to its close proximity to the city, this community is often referred to as “South Charlotte.” There are plenty of Charlotte homes for sale here, and condos are an attractive choice for many residents as well. They provide a nice middle ground between the basics of apartment living and the upkeep and responsibility of a house. If you’re interested in condo buying or selling in Ballantyne, now is a great time to see what this area has to offer.

One of the many reasons Ballantyne is so popular is because of its prime location. It’s easily accessible from a variety of places around the greater Charlotte Metropolitan Area, and conveniently located just off of highway 485, at exit 61 – Johnston Road. This booming area is home to plenty of stores and successful businesses, and residents have easy access to everything they need for day-to-day living.

Ballantyne is full of opportunity for residents. There’s a 535-acre corporate park that has everything from a resort hotel and golf course to several major office complexes. Also in the area is Ballantyne Village, a recently developed shopping center bursting with popular stores, delicious restaurants, and a brand new movie theater. Add in the excellent schools in the area, the plentiful business opportunities, and the ongoing development, and you can see why this is one of Charlotte’s most popular places to live.

If you’re considering condo buying in Ballantyne, you can expect to find many beautiful options to meet your needs. If you’re more in the market for condo selling, this is a great area for you as well, as it’s attracting new people every day.

Top Charlotte Neighborhoods with Homes for Sale

With over 2.5 million people calling the Charlotte metro area home, the city has a vast number of neighborhoods for its home buyers to consider. How can you know when you have found the right one for your needs? Here are several hot communities with Charlotte homes for sale that are definitely worth considering:

  • Dilworth – Dilworth was once Charlotte’s only streetcar suburb and offers a variety of established and historic homes along tree-lined streets with sidewalks. Front porches are prominent here, and in East Boulevard you will find restaurants, shops and offices in a variety of industries.
  • fBaxter Village – If you are looking for a neighborhood that captures everything you loved about your childhood, with a modern twist, Baxter Village is the one you want. Here a strong community gives you beautiful homes in a small-town atmosphere, just minutes from Charlotte. If you are looking for modern homes in a community where your children will feel safe, Baxter Village is the one for you.
  • Elizabeth – The home of Independence Park, Elizabeth has long been known as a fashionable residential area. Today it offers historic properties with mature trees in a pedestrian-friendly neighborhood close to businesses and shopping. It has one of the highest Walk Scores of the entire Charlotte community.
  • Plaza Midwood – For diversity, home buyers can trust Plaza Midwood to serve up a wide range of housing choices. The historic community is centered around The Plaza, where unique shops are abundant. Midwood is the predominant residential area here, and its historic bungalows have been carefully restored to appeal to the modern buyer.
  • Davidson – Just 20 miles north of downtown Charlotte is the lakeside community of Davidson, tucked away on the shores of Lake Norman. If you are looking for a lakefront property that is close to the city, start your search in Davidson.

Whether you are looking for a lakeside estate, historic bungalow or newly-built home in a quiet suburb, the neighborhoods in and around Charlotte will deliver. Choose a home in one of these popular communities, and you will have the chance to enjoy the best of the Charlotte area.

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